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Men’s golf battles cold, pulls out eighth place finish

The men’s golf team returned north this past weekend, and were reminded why they’ve made trips to Hilton Head, South Carolina and Puerto Rico earlier this spring. Weather became the decisive factor at the Hoosier Invitational in Bloomington, Ind.

“It was freezing, in the 40s with 15 to 20 mile per hour winds, and sometimes it works with you, and sometimes against you. It helped us pick up a win in Purdue, and held us back this past weekend” head coach Gary Winger said.

In the two rounds of golf that were played this weekend, the Falcons saw mixed results. Not unlike the results of their trip to Hilton Head one month ago, the team once again suffered a painfully slow start, this one being so severe that it landed them all the way back in 14th after the first round.

“We can’t use the weather as an excuse. Everyone had to play in the same weather, and we just played bad, no excuses,” senior captain Jace Walker said.

Again, not unlike in Hilton Head, the Falcons were able to counter an abysmal opening round with an impressive second, finishing with the fourth lowest score of the round, cutting 17 strokes in the process.

Improving by 17 strokes is no doubt impressive, but if the Falcons hope to make significant strides, better starts will need to become part of their repertoire.

“We can’t come out and put ourselves so far behind, and end up having to battle back, because you can only do so good after you fall so far behind,” said Winger.

Unfortunately, the Falcons would not receive a chance to climb in the final standings of the tournament on Sunday, because mother nature reared it’s ugly head once again, this time getting the final round cancelled. The cancellation locked the Falcons up with an eighth place finish.

Senior Russell Goodwin picked up his best finish of the year, carding a 76-73 and finishing 22nd overall. Average play from his Falcon teammates, however, made it impossible for the men to compete.

“We need to have a least two guys at the top. Russell played great this weekend, but the rest of us really let him down,” Walker said.

Although, Walker, who is having a good spring, hasn’t quite yet met the sky high standards he set for himself over his storied career, struggled in the first round, carding a 79. He improved in the second round, carding a 73, but still only managed to finish 43rd overall.

“I need to be at the top, trying to win tournaments, and I need to play a lot better for us to win and to do what we want to do,” said Walker.

Winger said that Walker didn’t have a bad weekend, and that it sometimes seems like he does only because so many great things are expected of him.

With only four tournaments left in his senior season however, Walker is still set on improving his game, making more puts, and competing for tournament wins. Eventually mother nature will let him and his teammates do just that.

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